I just got off the phone with REAL contacts on Capitol Hill. John Boehner is a country-club-Republican who stands for nothing of any true substance. He will cut a deal for the sake of cutting deals and believes you can split the difference over golf. He was not a fan of the sequester. Nonetheless, he barely held the slot as Speaker of the House that he cherishes so much and there was nobody who was his opponent.
Under his mantle, the Republicans have won ABSOLUTELY nothing. Each time Obama pushes and Boehner has caved in extending debt ceilings and agreeing to raise taxes. There have been NO spending cuts under Boehner. If he agreed with Obama this time, he would have been tarred and feathered while the Republican would have split in a real bonfire of the vanities.
That does not mean there are no sneaking back-room deals under the headlines. There is the continuing resolution to extend the debt ceiling that comes due at the end of the month. What will happen is they will hand Obama flexibility while most likely keeping the $85 billion number. Can you imagine the automatic cuts are to be $1.2 trillion. This is just $85 billion. Thus, some of the mitigating damage will be fixed through the continuing resolution. Nobody will pay much attention to that so Boehner will get his deals. He is really the Dean Martin of Republicans.
So the cuts will most likely remain. They will give Obama his flexibility. Keep in mind not ONE agency has EVER been closed. When they fail, they just add another on top – i.e. Homeland Security.